The article in the July 23 edition of the Credit Union Journal by Jim Blaine puts me to shame. In the article, Mr. Blaine recalls the persistence of Hubert Hoosman's solicitation for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Mr. Blaine calls on CEOs of credit unions to summon the courage to approach their boards for a donation to the MLK Memorial.
I felt shame because I am one of those CEOs who elected not to address the MLK Memorial contribution head on.
I figured I could clear my conscience by making a personal donation. Fact is, I robbed my board of the opportunity to decide whether the credit union should participate in this historical moment. I guess by default, I had made the decision for the board. Mr. Blaine's article helps me understand that this opportunity is bigger than me and my credit union deserves a fair and open hearing on the matter.
The question for my board is the suitability of this corporate donation. Our present donation policy requires the impact of a charity to have a local vicinity to our field of membership. The point I failed to observe is the impact of Dr. King's legacy is global. The call for this donation requires us to broaden our perspective to find the connection in a man's work that goes beyond fields of membership.
I will heed Mr. Blaine's call to action and propose the donation to my board. I won't predict the outcome. At least, I will rid myself of the shame of not considering all that "local" may mean to our members.
Maurice R. Smith, President
Local Government FCU, Raleigh, N.C.